St. Barnabas Medical Center Neonatal Grant Presentation

Burbank, CA (June 2012) - As the weather gets warm, patrons frequent cool movie theaters for entertainment and a break from the heat. In many theaters, summertime also means that movie patrons across the country are asked to participate in a time-honored tradition, the Will Rogers Institute fundraising campaign that began in 1936. This summer is no different and Clearview Cinemas remains a partner with the Will Rogers Institute to continue the tradition.

The Institute recently became a national leader in providing life saving neonatal ventilator equipment to hospitals across the country, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey being one recipient. The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) received a $40,000 grant to purchase Neurally Adjusted Ventilator Assist (NAVA) units to provide advanced respiratory care for very low birth weight babies and babies battling respiratory conditions typical to premature and critically ill neonates. This NAVA system is the most advanced respiratory system available and is essentially an extension of the baby's respiratory system that enables comfortable breathing. NAVA ensures NICU babies only receive the breathing assistance required with the goal to wean them from respiratory support as quickly as possible.

Saint Barnabas Medical Center's NICU is one of the most highly utilized NICU's in New Jersey. Last year, the staff cared for 1,173 neonates including 130 babies weighing 1500 grams (3.306lbs) or less and prone to respiratory failure. As a Regional Perinatal Center, the NICU provides the highest level of care and is equipped to treat babies with a range of serious medical conditions. For the past ten years, the Saint Barnabas NICU is proud to have one of the lowest rates of chronic lung disease and severe eye disease associated with extreme prematurity among over 850 NICUs worldwide. Premature babies, including the most fragile, low birth weight infants, cared for at the Saint Barnabas NICU have a very high survival rate and a very low disability rate compared to national averages.

Clearview Cinemas, headquartered in New Jersey, was instrumental in Saint Barnabas being selected as one of this year’s neonatal grant recipients. They have been a dedicated supporter of the Will Rogers Institute since 2004. Throughout the summer, movie patrons can donate to WRI in several different ways: by giving their spare change, buying a special purchase at the concession stand, purchasing a personalized pin-up for a display board, or making a one-time $5 donation by texting “WRI” to 85944. Other participating theaters include Bow-Tie Cinemas, Carmike Cinemas, Cinemark USA, Goodrich Quality Theaters, iPic Theaters, Malco Theatres, Marcus Theatres, National Amusements, Rave Cinemas, Regal Entertainment, ShowPlex Cinemas, Southern Theatres, and the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association.

(In Photo: Hoda Blau, Executive Director, Barnabas Health Foundation, Hank Lightstone and Jim Amos, Will Rogers Institute Board Members; John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Todd Vradenburg, Executive Director, Will Rogers Institute; Shyan Sun, MD, Medical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Saint Barnabas Medical Center; Craig O’Conner, Director of Marketing, Clearview Cinemas; and Deborah Morrone-Colella, Vice President, Saint Barnabas Medical Center Foundation.)

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To perpetuate the memory of Will Rogers by promoting and engaging in medical research pertaining to cardio-pulmonary diseases and educating the general public on topics of health and fitness.